GREENSBORO, N.C. — Guilford County Schools tested for lead at multiple local elementary schools and found fixtures used for drinking and food preparation that tested over the district’s screening level, according to a Guilford County Schools news release.
The elementary schools involved in the testing were Alamance, Bessemer, Brooks Global Studies, Gillespie Park, Jones, Joyner, Lindley, Oak Hill, Sedalia, Sedgefield, Stokesdale and Wiley.
The results showed that eight of the faucets or fixtures used for drinking water or food preparation at Bessemer, Brooks Global Studies, Joyner, Sedalia, Sedgefield and Stokesdale tested over than the district’s screening level of 10 parts per billion (ppb) for lead, the release says.
Testing found no faucets with lead over the 10 parts per billion threshold for copper at Alamance, Gillespie Park, Jones, Lindley, Oak Hill or Wiley elementary schools.
GCS set its thresholds for remediation after reviewing EPA guidelines and hiring an outside expert.
The release says water from a faucet at each Bessemer, Joyner, Sedalia and Sedgefield, and three faucets at Stokesdale tested above the 10-ppb threshold. All seven faucets were permanently removed from service at those schools.
Water from a fixture at Brooks Global Studies also tested above 10 ppb for lead. A fixture suspected to be the cause was replaced and, after it was retested to confirm the issue was fixed, is now back in service, according to GCS.
Daily flushing protocols used throughout the 2018-19 school year in Guilford County as well as anti-corrosive measures used by water suppliers likely reduced those lead levels at those schools to non-detectable before students started classes each day, according to Christopher Teaf, President and Director of Toxicology at Hazardous Substance & Waste Management Research, Inc., GCS’ water quality advisor.
The release says principals have shared this information with parents and staff at the 12 schools and the district will continue the testing and remediation program until completed at all but the newest schools or those not located on district-owned property.
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